You can describe Midwest band Red Light Driver as atmospheric with a British Rock & Roll swagger. Their live show consists of jangly guitar rock stompers and blasts of sonic psychedelia while fog machines, strobes, and other visual stimulants wrap it all up into a nice little spliff. RLD's list of musical influences would take days to complete, but failing to mention bands like Echo & The Bunnymen, The Smiths, Love and Rockets, The Clash, and The Stone Roses would do the reader a disservice. The gentlemen of RLD grew up on these bands, and their sound is informed by their influences, not copied from them.
Red Light Driver was officially named on October 10th, 2006 sitting over drinks at a table outside of their Indianapolis practice space. Derek Osgood (Vocals/Guitar), Drew Reed (Drums), Jonathan Harmon (Guitar), and Mike Contreras (Vocals/Bass) had already been playing together for several months under a different name. Their sound changed greatly during the formative phase, and a name change, which probably saved the band from imploding, gave everyone the same amount of ownership. The music was new and exciting, and it definitely wasn't one of their old bands making it.
During the first few years of existence, RLD found labels and other conduits to release and promote their music. The driving force behind the band wasn't the desire for rock star greatness; it was simply a desire to create art for a living. After modest success with their previous music endeavors (Lunar Event, Pop Lolita, and The Shivers), the thought of art actually paying the rent didn't seem so out of reach.
Working with record producer and Zero Boys' frontman, Paul Mahern, 2007's EP "Drinks for the Delayed" and 2009's full-length "...and Now We Can Be Ourselves" showcased Red Light Driver's gift of song writing and pop awareness. Both releases gained them a wider audience with successful college radio campaigns, commercial radio adds, and video plays on cable networks. RLD toured nationally in support of the first two releases, and by December 2009, the band was very eager to record again.
2010 brought a new direction for Red Light Driver. They took the limited funds left over from touring and record sales and built themselves a studio. While piecing together used equipment and fine tuning their engineering skills, RLD self-produced "UFO Lost", a six song collection of garage rock sing-alongs and spacey groove jams.
In the summer of 2010, Red Light Driver released all their material as free MP3 downloads on their website. A donation link was put up for fans to donate money to fund future projects. Other incentives such as t-shirts, album credits, and even house party performances were offered to generous fans. A percentage of the donations were given to Indianapolis hunger relief organization Second Helpings. (www.secondhelpings.org) The band continues to donate portions of their online sales to Second Helpings.
March of 2011 saw the release of "Celeste Celeste", a six song EP featuring four shimmering pop songs, and two shorter sonic/melodic transitions. "Celeste" is RLD's current release, and has been written about by critics as the band's best work yet. The members of Red Light Driver continue to work on their upcoming full-length and will play a few selective, local and regional shows during the winter of 2012.